Card Grading In It’s Current Form Is A @#!%$ Joke – Human Graders Must Go

Years and years ago I gave card grading a shot.  This took place well before Sports Card Info existed.  Because I didn’t do it very often I either went with BGS or SGC.  I had some modest success, but most of the time my cards came back 8’s or 8.5’s.  Those types of grades on the cards I was sending in actually diminished their value.  Two cards came back 9.5’s – 1991 Topps Stadium Club Brett Favre #94, and a Ryan Howard 2003 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Status Die-Cut #’ed/57.

To put it simply, card grading is a scam.  It always has been.  The first card PSA graded is the infamous Honus Wagner 1909-11 T206 which came back a NM-MT 8.  That card was altered and trimmed from day one.  PSA looked the other way because they knew the publicity they would receive.  Looking the other way for publicity and/or giving high grades based on a customer’s grading volume for more profit has been ingrained into grader’s skulls since the beginning.  Its a sickness that needs to be eradicated.

In 2019 we have seen card altering and trimming scandals exposed one after another.  Everywhere you look another one pops-up.  They’re like roaches.  Just check out some of the most recent articles from Sports Card Radio, and what the investigators on the Blowout Cards forums have dug up.  I think its safe to say that every card encapsulated in a grading holder should be questioned.  That’s if you get your cards back at all.  Wait times are atrocious, and PSA has been known to openly admit to throwing cards out.

Grading has a place in the hobby.  Just not in it’s current form.  Right now card grading is way too corruptible.  How do we eliminate this corruption?  Well, I don’t believe we can get rid of it completely.  Removing the human component would certainly help.  An A.I. and/or highly advanced computer system would most likely be the best way to go.  It would need to have a vast database filled with perfect examples of every card ever printed.  Scanning the card down to the very molecules its comprised of would result in an overall detailed grade unheard of today.  I want a grading system so unbiased/advanced when that Mickey Mantle rookie card is placed inside the machine it’ll tell you which part of the country it was pulled and what else the customer purchased that day.

But not even the most futuristic grading system will stop the skeptics.  Who’s to say the system’s designers won’t program it to be biased towards cards in their own collection?  What if someone hacks the system to improve their grades?  Nothing is full proof.  But as we sit today, the human graders need to go.  Humans are too tempted by greed.  Graders, trimmers, and cosigners are all in bed together.  The FBI is coming folks!  Until some drastic changes happen, I wouldn’t take card grading seriously.

We all had a feeling shady stuff was going on behind closed doors, but most simply looked away hoping the talking would stop.  With all of the garbage that’s been uncovered this year nobody is going to forget about it.  This topic and the players in it need to be dealt with.  More and more collectors should be on major alert.  If these graders did what they’re suppose to do, not a single altered/trimmed card should have made it passed them.  Money is more important to them than their integrity.  As long as people continue to turn a blind eye, pay top dollar for high-grade cards, this cycle will continue.  Lets break that cycle and inform as many people as possible about what’s going on.  With each scandal that breaks, more consumer confidence is lost.

With the National Sports Collectors Convention right around the corner, I’m sure companies like PSA, BGS, PWCC, Probstein123, and many more will have some explaining to do.  Some of these people shouldn’t even be allowed in the building.  Lots of great cards will be on display.  Just keep in mind that they might not have always looked so nice.  Promotional subpoenas for everyone!!!

It all started with this one.

EJ Manuel’s ’52 Bowman Style Portrait Is Ready To Go For The National

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Artist James Henry Smith just finished up this EJ Manuel portrait that Topps will use for their ’52 Bowman style promo set which will be given away during the 34th National Sports Collectors Convention this year.  Other players in the set will include Mike TroutErnie BanksBryce Harper, Frank Thomas, Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, and Eddie Lacy.  Topps will give away 100 copies of each card every day of the NSCC to those who open (5) packs of a Topps or Bowman product at their booth.  Then they’ll wrap things up by giving away the original pieces of art that will be autographed by the players.

Mark Martin Dual Relic Go Daddy.com Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to J.P. on being the lucky winner of the Mark Martin 2012 Press Pass Total Memorabilia Tire/Sheet Metal Dual Relic #’ed/25.  Once J.P. sends me their mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks.

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Go For It! Roadshow Mystery Signature Solved

Last month I blogged about the Go For It! Roadshow that was put together by the HealthSouth Corporation.  During the show, I was given an autographed T-shirt by some of the professional athletes that took part in the show.  I had recently rediscovered this shirt after it had been packed away.  All of the signatures were clear to me except for one.

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The signature on the right had puzzled me for years…. until today.  One of Sports Card Info’s readers stumbled across that post and made it clear that it was Steve DeOssie’s signature.  DeOssie was a linebacker for the Cowboys, Giants, Jets, and Patriots from 1984 to 1995.  He has a total of 11 cards including one autograph found in 1992 Pro Line Portraits.  DeOssie was actively involved with the Go For It! Roadshow and his name sounds very familiar from that day.

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DeOssie’s 1989 Topps Traded #79T RC

Go For It! Roadshow – Rediscovered Relic With Mystery Signature

When I was in 6th grade at Cedar Crest Middle School my class went on a field trip to Hershey, PA to see the Go For It! Roadshow.  This was around 1997 or 1998.  The Go For It! Roadshow was an interactive educational health event for kids and was operated by the HealthSouth Corporation.  It was meant to promote healthy living and exercise.  The show ran from 1995 to 2003.  In 2003, a major accounting scandal unfolded at the HealthSouth Corporation and the show was canceled.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I found out we were going.  All I knew was that I didn’t have to sit in the class room for a good portion of the day.  When the show started, I quickly discovered that professional athletes were involved in it.  During the show, Bo Jackson walked by where I was sitting and handed me a t-shirt signed by all the athletes involved with this particular show.

Recently I rediscovered this shirt hanging in my closet.  It’s been in there for the last ten years.  I recognize three signatures – Bo Jackson, Matt Bahr, and Jennifer Chandler.  Bahr was a kicker for Penn State, played professional soccer, and went on to play with numerous NFL teams such as the Steelers, 49ers, Browns, Giants, Eagles, and Patriots.  Chandler received a gold medal in the 1976 Olympics for diving.  As for Jackson, well if you don’t know who Bo Jackson is stop reading this and go open a box of ’87 Topps in hopes of pulling an autograph 🙂

Here are a couple of photos.  Does anyone have an idea whose signature that is next to Bo Jackson?  I’ve never known.

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Bo Jackson / ???

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Matt Bahr / Jennifer Chandler

**Update**

The mystery signature is of former NY Giants linebacker Steve DeOssie.

Premium Contest! – NOW CLOSED

Last week Press Pass sent over a box of 2011 Premium for me to break and review.  One of my “hits” was a Mark Martin Hot Threads Firesuit Relic #’ed/99.  Its gotta go!

What is your favorite Go Daddy commercial?

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Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, May 6, 2011 @ 8:00 p.m. EST
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post
  • You can enter once per day
  • The winner will be selected at random
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!